Monday, December 20, 2010

Crib Safety Tips from Sinai Hospital

For many families, a crib for a new baby is handed down through generations.

But in recent years, millions of drop-side cribs have been recalled due to safety hazards. Cribs with a drop-side rail that goes up and down can cause strangulation deaths, as parents of at least 35 babies found out tragically from November 2007 to April 2010.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted last week to forbid the manufacture, sale and resale of drop-side cribs, with the requirement that all cribs must have fixed sides by June 2011. Parents currently using a drop-side crib should check the hardware on the cribs to be sure it is working properly and double check that the crib has not been recalled.

Anthony Caterina, Sinai Hospital pediatrician, applauded the new law. He and his wife, also a pediatrician, are expecting twin girls in 2011.

“We thoroughly researched our options before making a purchase, but other parents may not be aware of the hidden dangers of unsafe cribs,” he says. In addition to the drop-side cribs, older cribs can be unsafe from loose parts.

“Tougher laws are long overdue and will save the lives of countless infants in the future,” Dr. Caterina says.

Tips for making sure a crib is safe include the following. Additional tips can be found from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Check for cracked or peeling paint.
  • Corner posts should be flush with end panels. Avoid clothing or ribbons on a crib, which can catch on tall corner posts.
  • Look for Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) certification.
  • The mattress should be the same size as the crib so there are no gaps to trap arms, body, or legs.
  • Hanging mobiles or toys should be out of a baby's reach.
To find a Sinai Hospital pediatrician, call 410-601-WELL (9355).

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